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Immigration officials reportedly detain alleged domestic violence victim in court

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U.S. Immigrantion and Customs Enforcement in Huntington Park, Calif. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

Immigration officials reportedly detained an alleged domestic violence victim while she was in court last week.

According to the El Paso Times, the undocumented woman was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a courtroom after having just received a protective order that stated she is a victim of domestic violence.

The ICE agents received a tip about her immigration status possibly from the unnamed woman's alleged abuser, who is already in custody, El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal told the El Paso Times.

"Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives," Bernal said. "Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns."

Bernal's office, which represents domestic abuse victims, has taken steps to reassure its fearful clients in the wake of the arrest.

According to the criminal complaint, filed Feb. 9, the alleged victim was in the U.S. after having been previously deported. The complaint said the person has been deported six times since 2010 and has been arrested for crimes such as a possession of stolen mail, false imprisonment and assault.

The alleged victim had reportedly been staying at the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence.

The alleged abuser has been jailed on a charge of forgery of a financial document, the El Paso Times reported.

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